Parents of students at New Haven schools will have an easier time getting their children to the dentist, thanks to new dental clinics inside five city schools.
Services are free for students and are available at the Troup School, King Robinson Magnet School, Barnard Environmental Studies School, Hill Central School and Truman School.
"My mom, she’s at work, and my dad is at work and I’m at school," said second-grade student Ramaya Glass. "I could go to the dentist here."
School officials hope having a dentist at school will be convenient for parents and keep students from missing school.
"We can see them, send them back to class; if they have problems, we can get them connected to one of our dental partners as well, so they’re taken care of," said dental hygienist Tracy Oberg.
The school system screened 484 students at the Troup School in 2014 to gauge students’ needs. They found 35 percent had moderate to severe dental needs.
"Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. It’s five times more common than asthma, and it’s the lead reason for missed school in elementary schools across the state," explained Sue Peters, director of the New Haven Schools Health Centers.
Parents who would like their children to receive dental services complete a permission form available at participating schools.